|Project by Lee A. Jesberger||posted 07-06-2007 07:11 AM||2486 views||6 times favorited||47 comments|
I love working with veneer! The possibilities are endless, and the material is relatively easy to work with. One project I make often is Hall or Demilune tables. Photo one is a table I gave to a client. Unfortunately, I didn’t bother to get a better shot of it, as it’s pretty nice. This one is Rosewood and Quilted Satinwood.
One thing I really like about making them is the fact that both the size and shape can be varied, as well as the the choice of veneers. This lends itself to interesting combinations in types and colors of the wood.
They are great project to practice working with veneers, and due to the small size of them, they don’t take too much time or materials.
Most of the ones I’ve made end up being gifts to whoever happens to be around once they’re finished. Otherwise I’d have to find a buyer for them and that takes part of the fun out of it. And leaving them in the shop isn’t a good option because they would get destroyed fairly quickly.
Since I do make them often, I have made several jigs to speed up the process. The second photo is a form to make the table apron. It is made from particle board, and the surface the apron sits on during glue up is covered with packing tape. This prevents the apron from sticking to the form if the glue come in contact with it.
The apron itself is made from two layers of 3/8” bendy board. This is glued up in the vacuum bag. The veneer can be glued on at the same time, or later. That depends on what the veneer will be, and how the grain direction will be oriented. Either paralell to the table top, or perpendicular to the top.
The third photo is a 1/4” thick piece of plexiglass. I use this to make cutting the M.D.F. to the right size and shape using a router and bottom bearing pattern bit. The black line is a gasket on the top and bottom of the plexiglass, which permits me to use my vacuum system to clamp the template to the M.D.F. It also clamps it to my bench top. Just by stepping on a foot pedal, the M.D.F. is sucked down tight to the template and the bench.
I also made a couple plexiglass templates to cut the veneer for the top very quick. One is used to cut the main area of the veneer, a second is used to cut the border. A third one is used to cut wedge or pie shapped pieces of veneer to be taped together, to form the top. This method of using the pie shapped veneer permits bookmatching the veneer.
My usual method of cutting the veneer is either a scaple, or on the table saw. In either case, I use blue painter’s tape on both sides of the veneer to prevent chipping. The table saw is much quicker because you can cut all the pieces at one time. When doing it this way I make a plywood sandwich, with the veneer between them. I screw the plywood together, taking care not to screw into the veneer that gets used. Then I cut the plywood into the desired wedge. After removing the veneer from the plywood, remove the tape, pulling it with the grain. Otherwise the tape will chip the veneer.
I’m going to end it here. Tomorrow I’ll continue this in part two, which will allow me to collect some more pictures.